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I am involved in at fault rear end collision.after 8 months i got married.will my spouse be liable to the lawsuit ?

San Francisco, CA |

i am involved in at fault rear end collision 2 yrs ago.after 8 months i got married.since 1 year i m unemployed and dependent on my spouse.at the time of accident i only have 25 k per person and 50 k per accident liability limits.the car i hit has a wife and husband.now i being sued and since i do nt have any income ,can i my spouse be liable for the lawsuits. are his sole assets and income at risk.we do not have any joint assets.no home and car? The accident took place in New jersey.after my marriage i moved to california. any advice appreciated.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. This is a question bvest qasked of asset protection and or debt collection lawywers especially in your state as each state law varies for creditors rights and exemptions. For example in Florida where I practice we have unlimited Homestead exemptions protecting the full value of your home and, for property outside cities, 160 acres surrounding your homestead. what that means is that a creditor-1 to whom you owe money like a judgement holder (someone who sues and wins a Judgement against you) cannot touch your home by way of forced legal proceedings to collect their judgement. Florida also exempts joint marital property, retirement plans and annuities from creditors claims and other exemptions. You as the tortfeasor (wrongdoer) are the only person who can be liable for the damage you caused in the accident. Your assets typically are those subject to the claim not a future spouses unless CA law allows such an attachment -unlikely in my opinion but I would consult with a local lawyer.

    LEGAL ADVICE: Unless you have retained me as your attorney, and I am currently engaged by you and providing you with legal advice and services, nothing in this post is intended to be, nor may it be construed as, legal advice.


  2. If you maintain no joint accounts whatsoever, and own no property jointly, your new spouse should have no liability.

    This participating Attorney does not warrant any information provided, nor are we creating an Attorney-Client relationship by providing said information to you on this site. Nothing contained herein is intended to constitute, offer, induce, promise, or contract of any kind. The content provided is presented as a courtesy to be used only for informational purposes and is not represented to be error free. The Law Offices of John N. Kitta makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to its answer to inquiries, and such representations and warranties are being expressly disclaimed. Given limited facts, we are attempting to share relevant information concerning this area of the law as a public service.


  3. You should be seeking the advice of a New Jersey lawyer with expertise in the field of personal injury and/or asset protection or marital property under New Jersey law.

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and I. I am not your lawyer and I am not representing you in the underlying issue stated in your question. The response I have offered is not intended to be relied upon, you should seek out an attorney to assist in this matter.


  4. Darn, I answered this too late for points, oh well.

    California is a community property state, debt and personal injury before and after marriage are considered separate property, and personal injury during marriage depends on if the act was for benefiting the marraige, HOWEVER because the accident happened in New Jersey, you should consult with a New Jersey Attorney who knows the law in that state better. It could still be separate debt but to be sure you should consult with the attorney in New Jersey. The laws of the marital law and debit creditor laws are probably mostly likely different in New Jersey than in California. New Jersey laws apply. So it's best to get an attorney advice from New Jersey attorney.

    Good-luck!

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